Semiarid ecosystems represent a large fraction of the Earth’s surface, and have a strong influence on interannual variability in the global C cycle, despite having relatively low productivity. SDSU Doctoral student, Andrea Fenner, is performing her dissertation research at SOFS. Her goal is determine how net ecosystem C balance has changed over the past 20 years, and the effect of drought on this pattern.  The work relies on three different eddy covariance towers (shown below) in chaparral with different ages/fire histories. THe work will shed light on how complex climate factors interact with fire and climate change to influence C cycling in this semiarid ecosystem.